Schenley Hutson Kirk knew she had to act when she saw Gregory’s picture on the euthanasia list at the Franklin County Shelter and Adoption Center in Ohio.
The little beagle had been found wandering in Obetz, Ohio, most likely abandoned by his owners, and appeared to be in perfect health — with one exception.
His heartworm test came back positive at the shelter during his health and behavior assessment. Despite the fact that the 2-year-old dog was full of energy and extremely friendly, he was listed as “rescue only” due to a medical issue (the treatment of which, according to the shelter, would cost $400). His fate would be sealed if he wasn’t pulled from the shelter by May 3, according to the shelter’s message to rescuers.
Fortunately for Gregory, Kirk and her husband Joe founded Hound Rescue and Sanctuary, and they knew the little dog still had so much to give. They gave up everything to save his life, never expecting the dog to return the favor.
They were mistaken. Kirk told The Dodo, “My husband took the day off work to drive to the shelter, while I stayed at home to care for the other rescue dogs.” “On the way home, he decided to take a few selfies of our new rescue, which I chastised him for because he’s not supposed to take pictures while driving—but considering the photos he took, I couldn’t complain too much.”
Gregory wanted to be as close to Joe as possible during his two-hour “freedom ride,” despite the fact that he had only met him for the first time.
Gregory’s leash, tethered in the backseat for safety, was just long enough for him to reach Joe’s shoulder. Kirk couldn’t believe what she saw when she received Joe’s text with the photos.
“[Joe] sent me three photos, the last of which showed little Gregory leaning over, as if to say, ‘You saved my life.’ Kirk said, “I knew I was going to die at that shelter, but you saved me today.” “And just by looking at him — the thankfulness, appreciation, and love he has for this little dog — it’s as if he realizes his life has been saved.”
Gregory, who is now recovering in the Kirks’ home, makes it a point to express his gratitude every day. Kirk exclaimed, “He’s an absolute doll.” “He’s sweet and affectionate, and he adores kisses. In the house, he is extremely well-behaved.”
Gregory is learning basic commands like sit and stay, and he appears to be house-trained, as he finishes his month-long antibiotic treatment and begins his heartworm medicine. Kirk continued, “He’s very laid-back, very happy-go-lucky, and his favorite thing to do is get lots of love from his people.”
While it’s impossible to know what Gregory’s life was like prior to his rescue, life is difficult for many hounds and beagles in rural and southern Ohio. Kirk explained, “Unfortunately, hounds get the stereotype that they’re just a hunting dog and that’s it.” “They say they’re smelly and noisy, but that’s not the case.”
Kirk and Joe are doing everything they can to ensure that dogs who don’t want to hunt can have happy lives as family pets, a mission Kirk has had since she was a child.
Kirk said, “I’ve known quite a few people who hunted since I was a kid, and I’ve seen the type of life that the hounds live over the years.” “A lot of them live outside, in a doghouse attached to a tree. The only thing they have in their lives is that small area, and hunting season is the only activity and type of affection they receive from the hunters, which is very limited.”
But every time Kirk looks down at Gregory, who is lying next to her on the floor or following her from room to room, she knows he is in for a fantastic second chapter of his life.